Title: On the Ice (Stick Side #1)
Author: Amy Aislin
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 8th 2018
Genre(s): Sports Romance
Page Count: 348 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.
Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.
But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.
It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…
On the Ice is an m/m contemporary romance with a guaranteed HEA featuring a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player.
At the start of On the Ice, which spans seven years, Mitch Greyson is nineteen, brilliant, broke, and running himself ragged trying to attain his goals. Alex Dean, is twenty-four, has a broken arm, and being on the NHL’s injured player list, time to return to old stomping grounds in Glen Hill, Vermont so he can heal, visit with his grandfather, and catch up with his college buddies. One of those friends is a TA for the one class that Mitch just can’t quite pass and, through a series of events, Alex ends up tutoring Mitch.
Mitch rubs Alex the wrong way from the start – he’s too cocky, too smart for his own good, and Alex doesn’t like the facade Mitch puts on for the world. Alex at twenty-four years old can count on one finger the number of times he’d been sexually attracted to someone. He’s not interested in hook ups, or kissing, or messing around.
Mitch, hiding his heart away, keeps to hook ups only to prevent his already battered heart from being hurt even more. But Alex is different, and Mitch recognizes how special he is, and is willing to be friends first and hope attraction eventually follows.
Alex, it turns out, is demisexual, and while I cheer for any inclusivity of the asexual spectrum, and was really happy with the portrayal of Alex and Mitch getting to know one another and eventually fall for each other without sex being the end-all-be-all, the reader is hammered with the definition and repetition of demisexual to a point where it became a bit annoying. Thankfully the characters are well written and when the reader isn’t being told once again that Alex is demi, or having demi defined again, there’s a really sweet, slow burn romance that has a fantastic HEA ending.
I’m a sucker for a sports romance, especially centered around hockey. I quite simply loved this. While it wasn’t perfect and it had some niggles, it was a light, fun, dual POV, slow burn read that I gobbled up in a few hours.